Passwaters History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Passwaters surname comes from the medieval family name Passelewe, which is derived from the Old French words "passe," meaning "to pass," and "l’ewe," or "the water;" thus it was likely originally a nickname for a ferry operator or a merchant, who often crossed the water. It may also have been used as a topographic name for someone who lived on the opposite side of a watercourse from the main settlement.

Early Origins of the Passwaters family

The surname Passwaters was first found in Berkshire, where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor. After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William, Duke of Normandy, having prevailed over King Harold, granted most of Britain to his many victorious Barons. It was not uncommon to find a Baron, or a Bishop, with 60 or more Lordships scattered throughout the country. These he gave to his sons, nephews and other junior lines of his family and they became known as under-tenants. They adopted the Norman system of surnames which identified the under-tenant with his holdings so as to distinguish him from the senior stem of the family. After many rebellious wars between his Barons, Duke William, commissioned a census of all England to determine in 1086, settling once and for all, who held which land. He called the census the Domesday Book, [1] indicating that those holders registered would hold the land until the end of time. Hence, Radulfus Passaqua is listed in the Domesday Book and Ralph Passelewa is shown at Bury in Suffolk in 1104-6.

Early History of the Passwaters family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Passwaters research. Another 171 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1194, 1273, 1327, 1439, 1450, 1511, 1524, 1585, and 1637 are included under the topic Early Passwaters History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Passwaters Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Parslow, Perslow, Parslew, Farslew, Parsley, Paslow, Paslie, Pasley, Pashley, Pashler, Paslew, Pashley, Pasley, Passley, Pashlie, Paslie, Passlie, Parsloe, Paslew, Passwater, Passleigh, Paslegh, Parslowe, Passlewmede, Passlaw and many more.

Early Notables of the Passwaters family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Passwaters Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Passwaters family

Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: Edward Parsley, who arrived in Virginia in 1662; John Parsley, who came to Maryland in 1674; Anthony and Elizabeth Parsley, who settled in Maryland in 1679.


Contemporary Notables of the name Passwaters (post 1700) +

  • Col. David A. Passwaters III, American commander of the 261st Theater Tactical Signal Brigade (2010-)


  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)


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